HRDs face tough new foreign recruitment laws

Singapore firms will come up against stricter laws for foreign employee recruitment from 1 October 2015 according to the immigration attorneys at Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL).

Ministry of Manpower (MOM) changes to the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) will affect the FCF’s advertising requirements with firms expected to “publish the salary range of the job vacancy in the Jobs Bank”. Failure to comply will result in the employment pass application being rejected. This is expected to “make the job terms clearer to Singaporean job seekers and improve labour market transparency” according to a recent MOM press release.

There is also the possibility of further scrutiny of local firms by MOM especially with regards to hiring professionals, managers and executives (PMEs). Those with a “weaker Singaporean core of PMEs” may find themselves having to submit more information during recruitment. BAL reports that this “may increase processing times” and create more challenges for firms looking for foreign PMEs to fill positions already affected by the country’s talent shortages. These additional requirements may include providing details of:

  • The number of Singaporean applications received
  • Proof that these local PMEs were interviewed
  • The company’s present employee statistics

This move is in line with current trends for foreign workers announced on 14 July by the Minister of Manpower. With growth rates slowing from 19% to 3% year-on-year from 2007–14, the need to focus back on the local workforce is something the ministry takes seriously. “Employers and Singaporean PMEs have important roles to play. Employers should support the development of Singaporean PMEs and consider them fairly for career opportunities,” MOM stated. “The ministry is actively encouraging employers to transfer expertise from foreign workers to Singaporeans,” BAL adds.

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